Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Joe Cool, The Hellbeastica, and The World's Sweetest Dog

We have three pets. In some ways, I have no idea how this happened. J and I are in agreement that we would prefer not to be outnumbered. If the pets were to ever understand that there are more of them than there are of us, they may stage an Animal Farm-style coup and begin walking on their hind legs. (I almost added that they would also start sleeping on a bed with sheets, but they already do that, if I'm going to be honest.) (The coup concern is also, incidentally, why we have no plans for more than two bambinos. The addition of sentience to the outnumbering really could end poorly).

I have had the Hellbeastica for nine years. Bonanza Jellybean Cat, named for The Cutest Cowgirl in the Whole Damn World from Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, has some serious emotional problems. She is one of those cats who climbs purring onto your lap (she, like small children, has no sense of not being wanted--simply sitting or standing with knees slightly bent is an invitation) and then gets mad at you for petting her. I feel like she used to be more easygoing when she was a singleton, but I'm probably kidding myself. I am not only her favorite person/creature/piece of furniture in the whole world, she also has a deep and abiding NEED for me. If I am lying on the couch, she must be on my chest. If I am reading, she must be sitting on top of whatever I am reading. I think that in some ways, she has been a good preparation for motherhood. (Although I suspect I can't get annoyed at LO and tip him off my chest if I really DO want to be reading rather than scratching him behind his ears).

Bonanza also has Crazy Eyes. Her eyes are large and bug out and she is often referred to as Bonanza Bug Eyes (in addition to Fatty Fatty Two By Four, Can't Get Through the Kitchen Door. I'm really glad she can't understand English). I'm used to her, but upon first meeting, you might wonder how Tom Cruise and/or an alien managed to mate with a cat to produce her. I love when she looks affronted because I've tipped her off my chest, because it's so much more effective with the Bonanza Bug Eyes.

Charlie, aka Charles J. Cat, is Joe Cool. (I believe that pets, just like cartoon characters, must have J for a middle initial. In Charles J. Cat's case, the J doesn't stand for anything in particular, unless it stands for Joe Cool.) (By the way, in terms of cartoon characters, I can come up with Bullwinkle J. Moose, Rocket J. Squirrel, Homer J. Simpson and Bartholomew J. Simpson. Can you think of any others?)

Where was I? Oh, Charlie. We realized recently that the soundtrack in Charlie's head must be something jazz based. If he had thumbs, he'd probably roll his own cigarettes. He wouldn't wear a beret, but he'd be tempted to. He's our hipster cat. While he is very sweet and loving, it is completely on his own terms. He makes it abundantly clear that he simply does not NEED our attention. He'll accept it when he's in the right mood, and he'll pretend that he wants it when he's hungry. But overall, he's a pretty independent spirit. He thinks of himself as fairly benevolent in his dealings with lesser creatures, like humans. When the revolution comes, Charlie will most certainly be the leader. I feel that he will be merciful and just, but he will banish us all the same. If it weren't for his adorable pink nose and the fact that he is declawed (and all of 9 pounds), he'd be nearly as terrifying as he seems to think he is.

Then there's Obie. Oberon J. Greyhound. (If you ask me, he was named for the Shakespearean character. According to J, he was named for the beer. This gives you a good indication of how our marriage works.) Obie is a retired racer, and since he knows what it is to be a working dog, he's unbelievably grateful for any and everything he gets that he's not used to. When we first got him the enormous fluffy dog bed that is now his constant companion, he wouldn't lay down on it because it was clearly too nice for the likes of him. (He got over that relatively quickly. But he still settles down onto it with a guttural sigh of gratitude every single time). He is unbelievably gorgeous, but he has no idea of it. So we call him our rock star--he's a walking conversation starter. Everyone wants to meet him, and he's happy to oblige. (Like someone who doesn't even know that he's famous, he's always happy for the attention. If he could, he'd sign autographs.) When he runs (for approximately 15 seconds at a time, no more than 3 times a week), he is the picture of grace and nature perfectly crafted for a single purpose. The other 99.999917% of the time, he's like Bambi on the ice. His legs are too long; his sense of space is awkward; he can't read basic body language cues; he does not fold up for easy travel and storage. I feel it would help to equip him with a backup beeper.

Of the three animals, I'm most worried about Bonanza and Obie in terms of LO. For Bonanza, if she gets jealous of The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo and feels the need to sit on it, how is she going to handle a creature that's about her size that gets even more of my time than my reading does? What will LO think of cats if one with crazy eyes is constantly staring at him with hatred? Bonanza will be unhappy that she can't get her emotionally fraught snuggles in with me.

Obie, on the other hand, will likely see LO with the attitude of the "The more the merrier." My concern with him is his unbelievable awkwardness. If he can't predict the movement of adults who have mastered both gross and fine motor skills, what's he going to do with a baby? (I'm also wondering if he's going to roo at the crying baby. Greyhounds, as hound dogs, will roo or howl or sing when they hear other hound dogs doing the same thing. The thing is, it doesn't necessarily have to be the sound of another dog. It could be a human being saying "Roooooooooo," or my cell phone ringing, or any long sustained sound. I'm thinking we might end up being "those neighbors.")

As for Charlie, the addition of another human being will probably only phase him in that it makes his plans for overthrow slightly more difficult. He'd be concerned about it, but there are naps to be taken.

No comments:

Post a Comment